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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Humour, History, and Methodology: A Multidisciplinary and Trans-Professional Enquiry

26th July 2017, 09:00 to 28th July 2017, 17:00

This conference invites researchers to engage in cross-disciplinary reflection on how to identify and understand humour from the past, and on what may be similar across disparate cultural materials.

The Humours of the Past (HOP) Network brings together researchers and practitioners with a mutual stake in understanding, interpreting and communicating humour of various kinds from particular times and cultural contexts. The study of humour as an approach to history, and history as an approach to humour, are developing areas of enquiry. However, there has been relatively little cross-disciplinary reflection on the methods researchers use to identify and understand humour from the past, and on what may be similar across disparate cultural materials. Furthermore, academic researchers have had only limited opportunities to discuss their modes of enquiry with practitioners who also have a professional stake in interpreting humour from the past, such as actors, directors, curators, and translators. To this end, HOP is holding a conference at Durham University, 26-28 July 2017 to encourage researchers and practitioners to share approaches. In addition to individual papers, there will be three roundtable discussions, exploring the verbal, visual and performative ‘translation’ of historical humour to contemporary audiences.

We now invite submissions of abstracts of not more than 300 words for 20-minute papers addressing, in their own way, the methodological issues that must be taken into account when studying humour from a particular past.

For further details on this conference and call for papers, visit the Humours of the Past website:

Contact for more information about this event.

Related Links


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


Many of our public lectures, seminars and conferences are recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts.

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